Ann's Angle

Darren Day stars in the record-breaking musical ‘White Christmas’ this winter at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and tells me: “It’s been an amazing response, we are all thrilled with it.” Darren is also appearing in a couple of films this year which will premiere at Cannes and added: “Again it’s wonderful news, and we are hopeful the fans embrace them – I can’t give too much away, but expect the unexpected.”

TV cook Gordon Ramsay denies that he has had any more surgery since moving to the US to make his TV shows. Yet look a little closer and you will see a softer face which is far more line-free … Gordon though claims this is simply down to good diet and nothing else.

Strictly Come Dancing’s Claudia Winkleman will whip up a dance floor frenzy with a six-hour stint of frantic footwork for Comic Relief. Claudia maintains she is not at all ambitious and would rather stay at home, yet seems to get endless TV work. She says: “This is going to be a joyous show, and I want everyone to get involved with giving as much as they can for such a good cause.”

Call The Midwife star Pam Ferris has revealed her husband cries watching the programme. “It’s such an emotional show, and I know he gets caught up in it,” she said. “But I sometimes just smile to myself, after all of I know what’s coming, don’t I?!”

Les Dennis has addressed his future on Coronation Street, saying he wants Michael to become “part of the furniture”. Speaking to me, the comedian admits that although he has had offers to return to theatre, he’s planning on staying with the famous cobbled streets.

Hugh Bonneville has spoken about the future of Downton Abbey. The actor – who stars as Lord Grantham in the ITV period drama – said that creator Julian Fellowes will know when it is time to “put it to bed”. He added: “ I would be up for a movie version too now, after we had George Clooney in the show anything is truly possible.”

Readers have grown tired of the slew of celebrity memoirs, with titles by Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and John Cleese selling disappointing numbers, according to publishing industry experts. But the worst culprit of last year was Kelly Brook’s effort, which sold less than 7,000 copies. Given she was paid over £150,000 to reveal all in book form, you can see why they might not be too happy ... expect them all at your local pound shop soon.

Brendan O’Carroll has denied reports that Mrs Brown’s Boys won’t return for any more full series. He tells me: “So Ann, who told you that? It’s not ending, we have lots more stories to tell and we’re happy to do so, but I think we will take a break for a while so viewers don’t get bored of us.”

Ex-Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan has shocked fans with her dramatic new look while appearing on TV. She denies all suggestions, but fans are alarmed at the new teeth and some say lips too ... take a look next time and see for yourself.

Sammy Winward said that her decision to leave Emmerdale wasn’t one she took lightly.

After playing Katie Addyman for 13 years, the 29-year-old actress will bow out of the soap in the spring. “It would be easy to stay, but I want to do other things, and see what is out there for me  ... maybe it’s a case of that I am growing up a bit,” she laughed.

Barbara Windsor has expressed hope that more EastEnders stars from the past will join her in returning for the 30th anniversary this year. She tells me: “I think it makes it more like real life that way, because people do pop back from time to time don’t they? Personally I would love to see Ross Kemp back in the show, it would be great.”

Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs is to join the cast of EastEnders. It’s not his first time in a soap of course, Andrew played Norris Cole’s brother way back in 2008 on Coronation Street, but he tells me: “I want to appear in them all, so maybe Emmerdale could be next.”

Insiders on Strictly Come Dancing tell me that, like Sir Bruce, they are preparing for the day when Len Goodman decides to leave the show for good. A source reveals: “We know Len gets tired, and we see the show as a long-running format, so it would make good sense to think about what we would do in the future.”

Michael Ball is hoping that appearing in the recent festive special of the Victoria Wood drama ‘The Day We Sang’ will lead to more dramatic roles and maybe fewer as a musical star. He said: “I won’t ever give up singing, but I know also that I have enjoyed acting just as much, so who knows, it may work out for both with fingers crossed.”

If you’re a fan of Mrs Brown’s Boys, then let me alert you to a planned spin-off from the show with ‘Rory and Dean’. A source tells me that they plan to get a pilot going at some stage this year, and test it out from there.

Mary Berry will front a new cooking series for BBC Two. Absolute Favourites will focus on the inspirations behind Mary’s recipes, and will see the Great British Bake Off judge tour the UK.

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